SoCal theater, July 28-Aug. 4: ‘Ragtime,’ ‘Pericles’ and more

Jennifer Talton in “Ragtime: The Musical” at the Chance Theater in Anaheim.
“Ragtime: The Musical” continues at the Chance Theater in Anaheim. With Jennifer Talton.
(Doug Catiller)

Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.), Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.).


Boeing Boeing German Efficiency Productions stages Marc Camoletti’s classic farce about a French bachelor juggling relationships with three flight attendants. The Dorie Theatre at The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 4. $10. (323) 363-7089.

It Happened in L.A. Writers and performers from Theatre West are featured in this inaugural entry in the new series “The Art of Storytelling.” Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Sun., 7 p.m. $10. (323) 851-7977.

Summer Playwrights Festival (SPF10) The 10th edition of this annual two-venue showcase features readings of more than three dozen new works and a 50/50 mix of male and female playwrights and directors. The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; and The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Starts Sun.; ends Aug. 4. $15 suggested donation. (818) 761-8838.


Permanent Collection Staged reading of Thomas Gibbons’ drama about an African American museum director embroiled in a controversy. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Mon., 7 p.m. $5 suggested donation. (626) 355-4318.

She LA Arts Summer Theater Festival Five new full-length works by female playwrights. The Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Tue.-Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 2, 5 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., noon, 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. $20.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast The Assistance League of Anaheim presents an outdoor staging of this adaptation of the 1991 animated musical based on the classic fairytale. Pearson Park Amphitheatre, 401 N. Lemon St., Anaheim. Tue.-Sat., 7:45 p.m. $18-$50.

The Pack Monthly reading series features original short comedies by Eugene Pack. The 11:11 Theatre, 1107 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood. Tue., 7:30 p.m. $5. Reservations at

Chico’s Angels in Fly, Chica, Fly! The drag trio probes the mystery of some missing flight attendants in this new comedy featuring special guest Julie Brown. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $40, $45.

New Original Works Festival 2019 This showcase for new works by local theater, dance and multimedia artists continues. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 10. $16, $20; festival pass, $40. (213) 237-2800.

The Underpants A woman has a very public wardrobe malfunction, much to her bureaucrat husband’s chagrin, in Steve Martin’s new comedy based on a classic German farce. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 1. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623.

The Fall of Lady M The tale of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth is reimagined in Michael Perlmutter’s drama. Santa Paula Theater Center’s Backstage@SPTC, 125 S. 7th St., Santa Paula. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 18. $15. (805) 525-4645.

Free to Be Family-friendly interactive-performance series continues with musical duo Zingarella (Sat., noon and 2 p.m.) and storyteller Victoria Burnett (next Sun., noon and 2 p.m.). Skirball Cultural Center, Family Amphitheater, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Free with museum admission ($7-$12). (310) 440-4500.

Loose Knit The Group Rep stages Theresa Rebeck’s comedy about five New York women in a weekly knitting circle who meet one very eligible bachelor. Lonny Chapman Theatre-Main Stage, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 8. $20, $25; groups 10 or more, $15. (818) 763-5990.

Love, Thunder, and Dynamite Sendup of the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie “Road House.” The Garage Theatre, 251 E. 7th St., Long Beach. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m. $10, $25. (866) 811-4111.

Pericles Independent Shakespeare Co.’s annual Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival continues with this adventure tale partly attributed to the Bard. The Old Zoo at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, L.A. Sat.-next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 30. Free. (818) 710-6306.

True West Two estranged brothers reunite at their mother’s empty suburban home in Sam Shepard’s classic drama. Vs. Theatre, 5453 Pico Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 31. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Under Milk Wood Coeurage Theatre Company stages the Dylan Thomas drama about lives of the residents of a small village in Wales. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 24. Pay what you want. (323) 944-2165.

Wake Up! Ojai Playwrights Conference 2019 New Works Festival This year’s showcase includes workshop productions of new plays by Kimberly Belflower, Inda Craig-Galván, Kimber Lee, Christopher Gabriel Núñez and others. Zalk Theater, 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, and Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, Ojai. Starts next Sun.; ends Aug. 11. (805) 640-0400. $10, $30; passes, $300.

Critics’ Choices

Daniel’s Husband This absorbing drama by Michael McKeever, which was a hit off-Broadway, explores the debate on same-sex marriage from a less obvious angle. Set in the “perfectly appointed” home of a gay couple, the play examines the conflict between Daniel and Mitchell, committed partners in their 40s who have polarized views on holy matrimony. As gleaming as a coffee table book, what begins as a contemporary gay comedy takes an unexpected turn that can’t be revealed, but it changes the stakes of the marriage debate and turns comedy into serious drama. Gaining strength from the intimacy of the Fountain Theatre and the general excellence of the production, “Daniel’s Husband” begins in laughter, culminates in tears and leaves off in contemplation of the dangers in putting off for another day what matters most. (C.M.) The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $5-$50. (323) 663-1525.

Men on Boats This side of an amusement park, you’re unlikely to find more thrills, chills and death-defying spills than you will in this impeccably realized production. Jaclyn Backhaus based her meticulously researched play on the travel journals of John Wesley Powell, whose 1869 expedition to survey the Grand Canyon in four rickety wooden boats was perhaps the last great adventure into the uncharted West. In a stripped down, marvelously inventive staging, director Barbara Kallir and her superlative cast make us feel every harrowing beat of Powell’s death-defying escapade. As the playwright intended, an all female, non-binary cast performs the all-male roles — a device that ineffably but undeniably deepens our connection to what might otherwise have been a standard recapitulation of historical events. (F.K.F.) Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Ends Sun., 5 p.m. $20, $25. (213) 351-3507.

Moby Dick — Rehearsed Director Ellen Geer and a cast of 19 imaginatively bring to life Orson Welles’ 1955 adaptation of Herman Melville’s philosophical whaling novel, constructing the Pequod of little more than a bit of rope and sending it into the rolling Atlantic. The ghostly title cetacean isn’t physically manifested, but we see it nevertheless in the wonder and terror in the actors’ eyes. (D.H.M.) Next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Sept. 29. $10-$42; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

Ragtime: The Musical Although written about America at the dawn of the 20th century, this musical based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel is packed with issues that demand our attention today. It’s a powerfully uplifting tale about people who dare to hope amid even the bleakest circumstances, finding unity in diversity. Director Casey Stangl has cleverly rethought this massive show for a tiny space, making the story at once intimate and epic. (D.H.M.) Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sun., 3 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 11. $25-$49; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.